Toyota has said its Indian unit will start making a profit in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2004 as sales of its Qualis utility and Corolla and Camry sedans increase, according to Bloomberg News.

Sales at its Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. unit this year will rise 59% to 27 billion rupees ($US579.4 million), Shripad Bhat, a spokesman for the unit in New Delhi, reportedly said but didn't give a profit estimate.

Bloomberg News noted that General Motors, Ford and other vehicle makers are increasing sales of cars and utility vehicles in Asia's fourth-biggest market behind Japan, China and South Korea as rising urban incomes and record low interest rates spur demand for vehicles.

Only six in 1,000 people own a car in India, half the number in neighbours Sri Lanka and Pakistan, the report added.